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3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  136 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Young prison officer Nicholas Glass is finding the stresses of the job increasingly hard to handle. Bullied and abused by inmates and colleagues alike, every day is getting longer than the one before. When a group of cons use outside help to threaten his wife and daughter, Glass agrees to help them out with a 'favour'. But, as their threats escalate, and one favour leads t ...more
ebook, 149 pages
Published October 1st 2011 by Polygon (first published January 1st 2009)
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But these days I'm more philosophical about it all. I've thought a lot about death. And you know what I've concluded, Nick? Anybody can be a killer. Circumstances, you know. Shit happens. You put your head down for a while. When you look up, somebody's dead. You know how it is.

This starts as a straight forward thug-lit/crime story.

Nick Glass takes a job as a prison guard and moves his wife and daughter to Edinburgh away from the meddling influence of his mother in law. He has trouble gaining the
Robert Beveridge
Allan Guthrie, Slammer (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009)

I wasn't entirely sure about Slammer for a while there. It was okay, readable if a bit slow for this kind of thriller. That's a big part of its problem—that you can say “this kind of thriller” about it, which translates to “you've seen this before”—but I'm getting ahead of myself. In any case, there's a scene about three-quarters of the way through the book where suddenly all the little bits that seemed out of place come together, and I sta
Tim Niland
The one thing you don't want to get a reputation for as a prison guard is being soft. So when the crooks and the hacks both zero in on newbie prison guard Nicholas Glass as being a weakling, you know there is going to be trouble. Glass is a man in a tight spot, trying desperately to provide for his wife and daughter while working a horrible job. When the inmates initiate threats against his family and make Glass start doing them favors the clock starts ticking toward inevitable disaster. Guthrie ...more
Nigel Bird
Slammer. When I got to the end of this book I was questioning my own sanity in ways I've never done before.
The reach and scope of the book is immense and it had me absolutely hooked from the very beginning. This is a complicated book, though on the surface it reads as a straightforward, white-knuckle ride from the crime genre; Guthrie is always a step ahead of the reader and, in spite of laying everything out, manages to keep a couple of aces up his sleeve.

Guthrie is one of my favourite living a
Seth Lynch
You could grit the roads in winter with this book.

I read it so late into a Friday night that my eyes started to burn. I didn't want to stop reading. There was one part where I felt physically sick and another where I had to hold back a tear. I wanted to stay on an read it straight through.

As I began to get comfortable with where we were going the book would change direction. This happened two or three times. Keeping me on my toes. I'm rapidly becoming an Allan Guthrie fan.
This was one dark trip into the mind of Allan Guthrie. He has penned another outstanding book that details the mind of a psycho. It is no wonder Guthrie is the King of Psycho Noir. No need to rehash the plot, but the plot will have you speeding through this book at the pace of a bullet flying from a gun. I have been waiting for this book to be released in the US and next time he publishes a book I will be visiting Amazon UK to avoid the wait. Guthrie clearly raises the bar for all the leading an ...more
Keith Nixon
Nick Glass is a prison guard. No one likes him, prisoners and colleagues alike. Even his wife isn't a big fan. Nick is a guard because he has to be, he's a young daughter to pay for. But he's scared and insecure, and everyone can see it. He comes under the influence of lifer (for murder) Caeser, whos uses Nick as a mule to bring drugs into the prison, threatening his family to make him agree. Nick starts using the drugs himself, struggling to cope with the stress. But Nick isn't as transparent a ...more
Fiona Johnson
If you've read any of my other reviews of Allan Guthrie's writing then you already know that I'm a huge fan. Even so, when you first discover a brilliant author and then find that there's already a collection of his work to get your teeth into, it's wonderful (if you read the books in chronological order) to see how their writing progresses and matures.

If you haven't read any Guthrie yet ( aren't you the stupid one) then don't start with SLAMMER. Go back and read TWO WAY SPLIT, move onto HARD MA
Les Edgerton

This is going to sound odd, but the whole time I was reading Allan Guthrie’s brilliant novel, Slammer, I kept thinking about a writer I’d read back in the eighties, James Kelman. I couldn’t figure out why Kelman kept cropping up at the edge of my brain as I turned the pages, so I went and found a copy of Kelman’s How Late It Was, How Late, and reread it, trying to figure out where the connection was.

I thought at first it was the subject matter—both books deal with prison, albeit one centers on a
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Definitely Not A "Slammer" Dunk

I can see the appeal of this book and I can see how some people would like it; however, I hardly enjoyed it at all. The premise is solid, but underdeveloped. The terrorizing from the inmates to the guard could have been so much greater and the story would have been more of a "throat grabber" had there been more favors, more threats, and... well... more terrorizing. The main character, Glass, is only put in two situations before his life spirals out of control (and
You won't remember this book if you read it. I thought this book would be a very good psychological thriller and I was interested in the prison aspect. The first half of the book was average and I continue to read hoping it would get better. However, it slowly slides downhill in the last half of the book. The characters aren't fully developed and aren't really that likeable. The author wants you to feel for the lead character, Nick Glass but he is so wimpy and doesn't know who he is or what he b ...more
Patrick O'Neil
Some writers have great intentions. Their ideas and concepts ambitious. But somehow they falter in the execution - they just don't make it work. And if that was the only issue wrong with Allan Guthrie's Slammer, it wouldn't make the book any better, but it would be a little more forgivable. Yet there are holes in Guthrie's plot from the first page. And yeah, the narrator is supposed to be unreliable. The reader is supposed to figure that out. The facts not quite computing are all part of the sto ...more
Darren Sant
I love the sound of breaking glass...

Your whole world can shatter if you make the wrong decisions. So it is for Nick Glass. A weak individual who it is crystal clear has chosen the wrong career...

I bought this book and read it very quickly indeed. It really gripped me right from the start. I've come to expect a certain pace from Allan Guthrie's novels and this one is no exception. Plenty of twists, turns and surprises. I highly recommend this novel a great read, just don't expect an easy ride,
Tanya Patrice
Loved the wtf? ending - the author leaves it up to us to interpret a few things, but one thing is for sure - at the end, the main character is crazy! It was a little hard to imagine that he would go so ape-shit over the few things that happened to him - but then again, he was 22 and a prison guard, so it might not take much. If the author had gone into a little more depth about his immaturity, youth & possible instability in the first half of the book, then it would have been more realistic. ...more
Chris Rhatigan
Holy goddamn. Allan Guthrie is a god among men. For those who like dark, psychological crime fiction, this is a must read. Nick Glass is such a real, dynamic character and his evolution (or, um, demise) is detailed in a meticulous fashion. And an absolutely riveting storyline.

I stayed up long past my bed time finishing it, a rarity for me these days. Go buy this book. Now.
This book didn't turn out to be about what I thought it was going to be about. There are some interesting plot twists and turns and the title definitely has a double meaning. I was somewhat confused by the ending- I'm still not sure what exactly happened. There was also a tangent about the main character's sister that was never fully explored.
Filippo Bossolino
Per i miei gusti troppo psicologico; la storia comunque è interessante. Il protagonista, Glass, è una giovane guardia carceraria, vessata da colleghi e detenuti, con una situazione famigliare non particolarmente felice. Il tutto aumenta di intensità, pericolosità e negatività quando inizia a fare favori per un detenuto.
Welcome to the the very dark underbelly of Scottish society. A very nasty place to reside, whether you're a "screw" or a "con." Guthrie shares with us a rough bunch of characters, who are all looking for some sort of redemption. What's their angle? Wouldn't you like to know!
Nicholas Glass is the newbie at rough Scottish prison. He gets invited to "help out" some of the inmates and things spiral out of control from there.

Definitely dark, and favouring the "how to psych em out" type of mystery.

You'll be checking your fingers.
Tony Cowger
For the first third to half of the book it was rather predictable but when the proverbial train jumped the track it was hard to keep track of the twists and turns. A great book that sent me directly looking for more by Mr. Guthrie.
What a ballsy 3rd act. Guthrie knows what a tailspin is like. He also knows how to blow shit up. Soaked in haunting imagery and a very real sense of walls closing in. Top shelf material.
Seumas Gallacher
gritty read.. in the prison you're led to think about who is really the entrapped,, the convicts or the jailers .. enough menace to keep the edginess moving along .. good read indeed
Ed James
Very strong for the first two thirds then goes into Palahniuk style weirdness. One of the most enjoyable stories I've read in ages.
Really weird story. Hard to follow, but I guess that was the point.
Mary Cannon
I found this psychological thriller to be very gripping.
Dysmonia Kuiper
Fucked up. Not predictable until the end.
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